A Pennsylvania Commonwealth court judge has delayed enforcement of the state’s voter ID law for the November election, ruling that the difficulty experienced by voters trying to obtain a valid ID made disenfranchisement too likely. However, despite the injunction, poll workers will still be able to ask for ID from voters, and voters without ID will apparently have to cast a provisional ballot, which could lead to a lot of confusion at the polls.
In the ruling, Judge Robert Simpson followed the guidelines handed down by the state Supreme Court two weeks ago, charging him with determining whether the state offered “liberal access” to IDs to any eligible voter who lacked one and wanted to participate in the election. After hearing a litany of stories about long lines, difficulty with paperwork and other hurdles, Simpson wrote that, despite the state trying to implement changes on the fly to remedy the situation, “I cannot conclude the proposed changes cure the deficiency in liberal access [to ID's] identified by the Supreme Court…. I accept Petitioners’ argument that in the remaining five weeks before the general election, the gap between the photo IDs issued and the estimated need will not be closed.”